1. SHOTHere I have a very short pitch shot that I want to drop softly in the fringe. My lie is good, so I should be able to slide the club under the ball.2. CLUBI'm using my 60-degree because I need maximum touch. I open my stance, which pre-rotates my body to the target. This keeps the swing shallow and helps the club slide through the grass.3. SWINGI play the ball off my front heel and open the face. Then I hinge the club up and swing down along my stance. I have plenty of loft, so there's no need to flip the club. The ball comes out high and soft.
Too often on these short shots I see amateurs square their stance and then open the face. Two problems there: First, a square setup leads to a steeper swing and can cause fat contact. Second, the clubface is angled to the right -- a swing along the target line will hit the ball to the right.
Play A Rolling Shot With A One-Lever Swing
1. SHOTI have nothing but green to work with, so I don't have to fly the ball very far. The sooner I can get the ball rolling like a putt, the more accurate I can be.2. CLUBI'll chip with anything up to a 5-iron. Because I like the first bounce to be on the green, I pick the longest club that will carry the fringe. Here I'm using a 7-iron to run it up the slope; if this shot were downhill, I'd use a 9-iron and land it on the same spot.3. SWINGThe technique here is a compact, one-lever motion with minimal wrist hinge. I start from an open stance, which pre-sets my body to the target, and settle more weight on my front foot. I keep the backswing short and accelerate through the ball.
Many amateurs automatically grab a wedge for all greenside shots. On a shot like this one, all you want to do is bump the ball onto the green. Players who try to fly it to the hole often end up dumping it halfway. With a longer club, you can make a shorter, simpler swing. That means less risk.
Hit It High With An Even Tempo Back And Through
1. SHOTWhen you have to carry a bunker or thick rough, the lofted pitch is your only choice. Visualize where you want to land the ball. This will help you decide which wedge to use. The speed of the green and whether it's sloped toward or away from you will also help determine how much loft you need.2. CLUBIf I have to stop the ball fast after it lands, I'll use my 60-degree wedge. If I can let it roll out a little, I might take my 56-degree. Remember, when you use more loft, you have to make a longer swing to cover the same distance -- and the longer the swing, the more that can go wrong. Don't take more loft just because you can. The best short-game players pick the right tool for the job.3. SWINGPlay the ball in the middle of your stance and favor your front side slightly. Take the club back and let your wrists hinge naturally -- you don't need to force extra wrist action. The key on this swing is to go back and through at the same speed. Turn your body through to face the target, and don't flip your hands to help it up.
There's so much talk about accelerating on shots around the green, I think players take it too far. If you're intent on accelerating on a 20-yard pitch, you can't make much of a backswing -- and that can really throw off your timing. Acceleration is best for chip shots. On pitches, try for the same tempo back and through.